Roast and Rhyme: Welcome to the Ugandan meat and music party

By Annah Nafula

In the post rain chill, I could see bootylicious Kampala belles thronging Jahazi piers, Moyonyo.

Some jumping off boda bodas, in a jiffy taking off weighty coverings and rushing to get into character. Kampala girls never feel cold! Especially, if they have to pull off a look.

A gaze around and for a minute I am almost convinced I am dressed very unsuitably for the function. On one hand I see a light skinned fairly sized lady trying to fix a falling eyelash, that is right, eye lash, the wind on that bike is no respecter of flourishes. On another side, I see one getting a quick snack and stealing a second to do final touches on her make up.

Short shorts, skimpy, revealing, and a touch of African seem to be the fashion theme of choice. Many look gorgeous as they show off their hind and front curves awesome in the sight of onlookers, dangerous for men trying to pull off a romantic evening out with their significant others. The chances that your eyes will rove and make you look bad are unbearably high. For tight markers, even a genuine polite trip to the loos would leave your relationship in balance. You have to think twice, thrice, or even four times before you approve of bae’s short call. It is so true; Kla belles are gifted 100%! My folk’s resilience to party should be something nations should come and experience.

Wondering where I saw all this? Some friends managed to take me to this the year’s edition of the annual Swangz Avenue’s Roast and Rhymes. Well they needed company, they thought, I should go and experience Uganda in this set-up, and idea that didn’t seem bad until I stepped out of the car.

Straggling through the mud to get a hold of that roast chicken thigh, chips and a cup of tea was something I can effortlessly complain about. It was super muddy. Every step I made spelt a new expense, my shoe cleaner must have been praying in tongues at this point. The place was gummy muddy. After I grabbed a bite and sipped on my tea, I was in a better mood to start ogling afresh. I kept wondering how on earth these young ladies were not feeling cold, with a cold breeze from the lake, the post rain, and the general low temperatures at night. It was a reminder and affirmation of how nothing ever gets in the way for Uganda’s party goers.

The music set in. We had a new sensation Mugabi, confessed that his shoes, save from the showbiz were making him uncomfortable. Comedian Salvdor made fun of the typical Kampala slayers who pump their breasts and artificial nails. For a minute, I thought he had forgotten who his audience his were. Going by how much stench he threw at them through his jokes, I can confirm Ugandans are very forgiving. As soon as he slipped into singing mode, the offended slayers were already up and groovy. The drums and the sounds were aesthetically made of home. Local star of the night was legend singer Jose Chameleone took people back in time, with his oldest songs, pitching in stories about the songs, the accepting crowd often giving him the attention, after all it was the story telling edition. Yes, the man still has his groove though with a touch of politics. It is utterly forgivable. Bobi Wine has made everyone believe in self. A few tracks down, I was done, I was tired. To my undesired shock, the crowd was showing no signs of slowing down. Thank God for Uganda Cranes, everyone I was with wanted to watch this would be saving grace game at the AFCON; Uganda Vs Egypt. It was a humble excuse to see oneself out of this ongoing party.

For people who are moralists, trying to get everyone covered and drinking a little and not smoking and inhaling some things, this is not the place for you to be. I would also never recommend anyone going to this event with children. It is cold at night, with alcohol involved, anything can happen; a fight or a truly drunk fellow can get out of control. Let the kids just stay home and catch up with the latest Nikelodeon dramas.

Being at roast rhymes reminded me of the adaptability of my country men, my home peeps just love to have fun. Ugandans are very cool people; they mix and mingle so easily. While there, I saw people who were from neighboring countries like Sundanese, Somalis, Rwandese and white tourists too freely dancing, eating and enjoying. With over 50 tribes living the same space peacefully, accommodating foreigners for a mere party would just be a walk in a park. We are a country never ceasing moments to celebrate and make memories. It is no wonder; Kampala is the partying capital of East Africa.